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Tips for Cooking Perfect Pasta

By Chase Brightwell Published

Follow these instructions when preparing fresh or dried pasta.

1. Use plenty of water and stir frequently to keep the pasta from crowding and sticking. We suggest 4 quarts of water per pound of pasta.

2. Salting the cooking water is essential for properly seasoned pasta. We recommend 1 tablespoon of table salt for every 4 quarts of water.

3. Instead of relying on the package’s recommended cooking times, check the texture of the pasta by tasting it often during cooking.

4. Reserve some pasta water before draining the pasta. (Setting a liquid measuring cup near your timer or colander can help you remember to do this.) The starchy water can be used to thin a sauce without diluting flavor, and it's an essential ingredient for building certain sauces.

5. Drain the pasta thoroughly to ensure that sauce clings to it properly.

An Ode to Italian Pasta

From agnolotti to ziti, there are so many types of Italian pasta to enjoy. Here’s how to shop for and prepare the perfect pot of pasta.

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JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.